Little Vietnamese Cafe, 309 6th Avenue, SF 415 876-0283
After a food shopping trip on Lower Clement, I like to get a hot–or cold–Vietnamese coffee at Little Vietnamese Cafe whose infusion is less concentrated than traditional Vietnamese coffee. Though still full bodied, it requires less sweetened condensed milk for balance–kind of a Vietnamese coffee light that is less of a caffeine and sugar commitment. And, it comes out fast. You don’t have to wait for it to drip slowly through a super fine strainer as you watch, drop by drop.
I especially like Vietnamese coffee after a meat-ball banh mi, a luscious sandwich on a soft, airy french roll that is toasted and filled with sweetly marinated raw daikon and carrots, slanty slices of green jalapeno, sprigs of cilantro, a swipe of Vietnamese-aioli and saucy Vietnamese meatballs. This sandwich comes close to the paragon of all banh mi–the meatball at Saigon Sandwich on Larkin. Another advantage of Little Vietnamese Cafe is that you can sit down at a few seats indoors, and out on the sidewalk.